I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope. Under God our Savior's command,
I'm writing this to you, Timothy, my son in the faith. All the best from our God and Christ be yours!
On my way to the province of Macedonia, I advised you to stay in Ephesus. Well, I haven't changed my mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track.
Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience.
The whole point of what we're urging is simply love - love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.
Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip.
They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven't the remotest idea of what they're holding forth with such imposing eloquence.
It's true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)